This international seminar combines the Great Books, Socratic approach of Gordon College’s Jerusalem and Athens Forum (JAF) honors program with the emphasis of the Gordon IN Orvieto semester program of experiencing art, architecture, and literature in situ—in their original settings. Students earn 4 credits by completing an on-line component before and after the two weeks of on-site learning in Italy. The program is also open to adult learners without registering for academic credit, whether or not they are affiliated with Gordon College. The seminar is open to current Gordon College students, alumni, and other adult learners alike.
DECEMBER 27, 2015–JANUARY 11, 2016
“What is a Good Life? Moral Philosophy in Medieval and Renaissance Europe”
This JAF291 Seminar (2016) will take as its theme moral inquiry in the classical and Christian traditions, with a focus on their co-mingling in late medieval and early modern Europe (ca. 1300-1600). Students will have an opportunity to read various classical authors, particularly Aristotle and Cicero, and then later medieval/Renaissance authors such as Thomas Aquinas, Dante, Pico della Mirandola, and Erasmus. Some key questions that will be explored include (but are not limited to): What is a good life? What is a good society? What is virtue and how does one acquire it? What is vice and how can one avoid it? What is the relationship between the pursuit of virtue and the pursuit of salvation? What is the relationship between individual virtue and public/social responsibility? We shall also ask to what extent early-modern moral philosophy might still be relevant to church, society, and government today. In addition to readings and discussions, field trips will be taken within the city of Orvieto and to Rome, Siena, and Florence. Throughout, we shall attempt to make connections between the writings discussed and on-site art and architecture.
All applications are due by October 15, 2015
Students: $3,500 (includes 4 credits tuition); $30 application fee due October 15; $450 non-refundable deposit due October 22; remaining $3,050 billed to student account
Adult Learners: $2,500; No application fee; $500 non-refundable deposit due by October 22; remaining $2,000 due by November 15
Professor Howard holds a Ph.D. in European intellectual history from the University of Virginia. Professor Howard has also studied and/or taught at Valparaiso University, the University of Freiburg im Breisgau, the Humboldt University of Berlin, the University of Basel, and the University of Notre Dame. He is the author of Religion and the Rise of Historicism(Cambridge, 2000) and Protestant Theology and the Making of the Modern German University (Oxford, 2006), and editor of The Future of Christian Learning: An Evangelical and Catholic Dialogue by Mark Noll and James Turner (Brazos Press, 2008). His most recent book, God and the Atlantic: America, Europe and the Religious Divide (Oxford, 2011).
Professor John Skillen holds a Ph.D. in Medieval and Renaissance studies from Duke University, and is currently Associate Dean of European Programs and Director of the Studio for Art, Faith, and History at Gordon College. He was the medieval and Renaissance specialist in the English department before inaugurating the Gordon IN Orvieto program in 1998. Professor Skillen's interests are broadly in the arts and cultural history, and the renewed relevance of moments in early European culture for the conditions of our present. He is also the founder and co-director of the annual Festival of Art & Faith held in Orvieto, Italy each June.